All you need to know about Sheffield United's FA Cup tie against Plymouth Argyle

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Sheffield United and Plymouth Argyle face each other in a competitive fixture for the 47th time at Bramall Lane this afternoon, 87 years after first meeting at Bramall Lane in the old Second Division.

The Star’s James Shield identifies some of the major figures set to take part in the FA Cup fourth round tie, and analyses the statistical trends surrounding both clubs’ seasons so far.

The Teams: United - Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Ampadu, Stevens, Bogle, Norwood, Fleck, Lundstram, Brewster, Burke. Argyle - Cooper, Aimson, Watts, Opoku, Fornah, Grant, Edwards, Major, Reeves, Nouble, Jephcott.

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The Referee: Lee Mason, from Greater Manchester, is one of the most experienced officials on the Select Group. He averages 2.23 cautions per game this season but issued only one - to United’s Sander Berge - when Chris Wilder’s side were beaten 2-1 at Arsenal in October. Mason has not sent off a player since September 2019, when he dismissed United’s captain Billy Sharp during their top-flight fixture against Southampton at Bramall Lane. Australian Jarred Gillet is the VAR.

The Form Guide: Despite being bottom of the Premier League table, United have won two of their last three outings in all competitions with the first of those victories coming at Bristol Rovers in the previous round. Argyle make the long journey north unbeaten in four. They have won three of those matches, beating Championship side Huddersfield Town to set-up this clash.

The Goals: Argyle have scored 16 times in their last 12 outings, conceding on 20 occasions. Over the same period, United’s defence has also been breached 20 times over the same period, although they have only scored nine goals. A third of those came at the Memorial Stadium earlier this month.

The Guide: Rovers, who United beat in the previous round, beat Argyle 3-0 when they faced each other in League One competition a month ago. However, Ryan Lowe’s men, who are eight places above Rovers in the League One rankings, were in the middle of a four match losing streak at the time.

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The Head to Head: United are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Argyle, winning five of those including the most recent - an FA Cup tie at Bramall Lane in 2014. Argyle’s last victory over United came in 2007, when they triumphed 1-0 in South Yorkshire.

Chris Basham took part in Sheffield United's last game against Plymouth Argyle, seven years ago: Andrew Yates/SportimageChris Basham took part in Sheffield United's last game against Plymouth Argyle, seven years ago: Andrew Yates/Sportimage
Chris Basham took part in Sheffield United's last game against Plymouth Argyle, seven years ago: Andrew Yates/Sportimage

The Last Time: Jose Baxter scored twice, both times from the penalty spot, as United knocked Argyle out of the competition at the second round stage. Marc McNulty was also on target for the hosts, who selected Chris Basham in defence. Basham recently made his 300th appearance for United and is expected to take part in this fixture too. Reuben Reid missed a penalty for Argyle before Baxter opened United’s account for the afternoon. United returned a possession percentage of 65 and mustered more than 20 attempts on goal. They went on to reach the fourth round, losing to Preston North End in a replay at Bramall Lane.

The Details: United versus Argyle, kick-off 3pm. Pre-match analysis, in-game updates and post-match verdicts are available via The Star’s print and online platforms.

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